John Yoo, Berkeley law school Boalt Hall's local war criminal, is back in the news with the exposure of his charming October 2001 torture memo. In addition, this opinion in a footnote was noted by AP.
In other words, go for it, soldiers -- beat the crap out anyone you suspect of being one of those terra-ists, even if they are in the U.S. There's a war on and we don't need no stinking warrants.
It doesn't take much knowledge of U.S. history to realize that such permission for unregulated military mayhem has been much contested for a long time. Those uppity colonials of 1776 revolted in part because of the random violence inflicted on them by British troops quartered in their towns and homes. After the Civil War experience of war and occupation within the national boundaries, Congress thought they'd enshrined protection against such military acting out by outlawing the Posse Comitatus.
So what, beyond an overweening desire to expand the dictatorial powers of a pathetic muddlehead of a president, underlies this wild grasp at unchecked military power on the homefront? John Yoo is apparently too stupid to shut up (there are such things as International War Crimes tribunals that may someday nail you, buddy) and has talked a lot about motive. I went back to an interview he gave PBS in 2005. The interviewer asked him what his state of mind was in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He offered:
This guy is a law professor? Quite simply, niceties like the rule of law go out the window simply because some crooks -- non-state actors, modern day pirates or privateers -- managed to make a big enough bang.
This is not the thinking of an adult. This is an intellectual whore, bending a small intelligence to the purposes of manipulative authority figures, craving approval for his devoted service. Sure, the whole country was spooked after 9/11. But this man's job was the law, not abasement to unconstrained power.
And the guy is still in the business of apologizing for his masters. This appeared today.
How pathetic. And we're equally pathetic if we fail to end the surveillance and torture regime for which Mr. Yoo is an apologist.